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Ten Favorite Designers - Another Revisit

Joseph Peterson
United States
Round Rock
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Just to give some background on this list, last year I put up a list of my favorite designers after a year in the hobby. I revisited the list again 6 months later. I've decided now, with this third entry, to try and do an update to the list every 6 months or so as a way to track such things. It interests me to see how tastes change over time and so hopefully this list proves as some sort of time capsule of interests.

10 - Ludovic Maublanc

Favorite game: Dice Town

My first introduction to Maublanc's games was Le Fantôme de l'Opéra which was very enjoyable and hit #77 on my 2014 top 100 favorite games of all time list. Since then, games like Dice Town and Terror in Meeple City have found their way onto our table and have also been well received and become some of our favorites. Of the games I've yet to try of his, I'd most like to check out Cyclades as I've heard such great things about it and I'm a fan of Greek mythology.

9 - Ted Alspach

Favorite game: Suburbia

Suburbia was the first game I had played of Ted's designs and actually one of the first board games I had played when getting back into the hobby. It was a lot for me to take in, but was incredibly enjoyable and remains a top 20 game for me. I've also really enjoyed One Night Ultimate Werewolf and Ticked Off and bring them out whenever we have a crowd. Castles of Mad King Ludwig is one of the games I've yet to play, but most interests me.

8 - Dominique Ehrhard

Favorite game: Marrakech

The first of Dominique's games I played was Kimaloé and was one of my top 50 favorite games in 2014. Since then, Marrakech is the one which has become a favorite of mine and one of those games that does "roll-and-move" right. Of the games I've yet to try, Condottiere strikes me as most interesting with its mix of auctioning and area control.

7 - Steve Finn

Favorite game: Biblios

For the first year or so when I came into the hobby, all I ever heard about was Biblios. However, for the longest time, it was out of print and rather expensive to obtain. I was finally able to get my hands on a reprint and it was my first, and favorite, game of Steve's. Of the games I've yet to try, I'd most like to play Capo Dei Capi. It has an awesome theme of rivaling mobsters that sounds like it should really hit the mark for me.

6 - Mike Fitzgerald

Favorite game: Mystery Rummy: Escape from Alcatraz

The first of Mike's games I had ever played was Diamonds. We had played it over the Christmas holidays in 2014 and had a blast with it. Since then, I've been enamored with the Mystery Rummy series, particularly Escape from Alcatraz. I'd like to dive deeper into the series and try them all out in the future. Also, Baseball Highlights: 2045 seems right up my alley as a baseball fan.

5 - Richard Garfield

Favorite game: King of Tokyo

The game most synonymous with Richard Garfield is Magic: The Gathering and one I enjoyed quite a lot as a teen in the 90s. Nowadays though, it's all about those monsters attacking Tokyo and New York. I lean more towards King of Tokyo though as it's more easy to get players familiar with the system, but New York is a great leap from the bases. As far as other games that interest me, I'd have to go with Treasure Hunter. Not only does it seem a game that should do well for my family, but the art is excellent.

4 - Klaus-Jürgen Wrede

Favorite game: The Downfall of Pompeii

Anyone who has been following my blog, particular in the past couple of months, might have noticed all the different types of Carcassonne we've been playing. It's a game I've fallen in love with and am amazed by all its variants that keep the bases, but still make the game different and interesting. However, what puts Klaus on this list is The Downfall of Pompeii. It's quite possibly my favorite game I've ever played. Of the non-Carcassonne games I've yet to play, Rapa Nui most interests me with its Easter Island theme.

3 - Phil Walker-Harding

Favorite game: Cacao

Sushi Go! was the first of Phil's games I had played and it introduced me to the drafting mechanism. Cacao is the game though that has made me really appreciate Phil's designs. It's a completely new take on tile laying that I had never played before. Aside from wanting to try out the expansion from Cacao, Cacao: Chocolatl, Dungeon Raiders also looks to be a lot of fun.

2 - Uwe Rosenberg

Favorite game: Patchwork

I haven't played many of Uwe's games, but the ones I've played, I've incredibly enjoyed. While Patchwork is my favorite, I also love Bohnanza and think it's one of the best designed card games I've ever played. Since there's so many games I've yet to play, I think what I'd most want to is Caverna: The Cave Farmers. I've just heard so much about it, it would be nice to actually try it out.

1 - Matt Leacock

Favorite game: Pandemic

I was first introduced to Matt's designs through Forbidden Island and it proved to be a great hit in our home. We then moved to Pandemic and that's where we found true greatness. Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is what we've been playing for the past couple of months and it's been a real joy. While it's not yet eked out Pandemic as my favorite, it's getting there. Of those I've yet to play, I'd most like to try out Forbidden Desert.

So that's my favorite ten designers as of now. Who are some of your favorites? What's your favorite game of theirs and which ones that you haven't played would you like to? Let me know in the comments. Thanks as always for stopping by and checking out the post. Take care!
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Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:44 am
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My Top Ten Favorite Trick-Takers

Joseph Peterson
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what some of my favorite trick-takers were. This inspired me to look over my list of played games and sort out my favorites. So, here they are, my top ten favorite trick-takers.

10. Relationship Tightrope

Board Game: Relationship Tightrope
In this game, players are attempting to have the most balanced relationship or in game terms, they're trying to collect the least amount of sticks. Players "bid" for sticks by playing a card. The player with the highest number collects blue sticks, the player with the lowest number collects pink. Any players in the middle get nothing.

Players can get rid of their collected sticks by playing opposite colored cards and winning the trick. Every time a blue and pink stick is collected, they balance each other out and can be removed from the player's score.

Once players have finished up a round, they count how many sticks they still have and after multiple rounds, they count up their final scores, with the player with the lowest score winning.

I think what I like most about this game is that players are trying to play inbetween highest and lowest played cards as to not collect any sticks. I also think it's great that just because you collect a stick doesn't mean you can't later get rid of it. It really does have a great back and forth feel of balancing out your collected tricks to earn the lowest score.

9. Little Devils

Board Game: Little Devils
As with Relationship Tightrope, players are trying to play between the lowest and highest played cards. It's also unique in that the player who goes second dictates how the trick will play out.

For instance, if the first player plays a 9, the second player has a choice to play either higher or lower, wanting to play as close to the 9 as possible. Depending on what's played, the following players would need to "follow suit" so to say. For instance with our example, if the second player played a 12, all players would need to play a card higher than a 9 if possible. They'll want to play between a 9 and a 12 as to secure not to win the trick.

Once the trick is completed, the player who played the highest or lowest card would win the trick with one exception. Should a player be unable to play in the direction as set by the second player (for our example: higher), they would have to take the trick with their card they played which was lower. It might not make a lot of sense in writing, but it's simple to figure out with just a couple goes around the table. It also plays better the more players you have.

8. Hearts

Board Game: Hearts
Yep. That 165-year-old game we've all played is one of my favorites. When there's four players and just a deck of cards, there's possibly no better go-to game than Hearts.

What makes it such a great game to me is the idea of "Shooting the Moon". If you're unfamiliar, Hearts is all about having the lowest score at the end of the game. When shooting the moon, the player who collects all the tricks (all Hearts and the Queen of Spades) doesn't score and forces 26 points on his opponents, more than a quarter of the score needed to end the game (100).

I also think it's probably the best for all ages to just sit and converse while tossing cards about. Good stuff.

7. Frank's Zoo

Board Game: Frank's Zoo
This is one of the oddest games I've played. I really like how players play alone in the first round and then switch to partnering up in following rounds. It really changes things up in a great way.

I also think it has to be one of the only trick takers that doesn't use numbers as part of the collecting of tricks. Players are actually playing animal cards. Each animal is scared off by another animal and it makes for a neat way of playing. Certainly unique.

There's other small rules here and there I didn't mention, but yea, it's really unique and enjoyable.

6. The Dwarf King

Board Game: The Dwarf King
Speaking of unique, The Dwarf King uses a deck of 53 cards with three suits, dwarves, goblins and knights. The game also includes cards with special powers which switch out each round and contract cards which change how scoring will be done in each round.

I also like how the "5" of each suits determines the actions players will take in the next round. Should you win a trick with a "5" in it, the dwarf will make you be the dealer, the knight allows that player to choose the contract for scoring for the round, and the goblin leads the first trick.

Oh, and there's also no trump, which is usually a staple in trick-takers. Really fun game with great artwork.

5. Black Spy

Board Game: Black Spy
Black spy is a Hearts variant, but I really love it. Probably my favorite thing is that it can be played with as few as three and as many as six players.

As in Hearts, players can shoot the moon, but it's quite a lot more difficult. There's also spies of different colors which can help you out by knocking your score down 5 points.

It's a neat theme, the art is fun and so's the game.

4. Clubs

Board Game: Clubs
I really like the way this one plays out. Being able to play sets of cards as your trick is really cool. I'm sure it's been done before in other games, but this is the one that introduced it to me. Being able to play out a four-of-a-kind is awesome and then having another player play a higher four-of-a-kind is truly destroying to your psyche.

I also like the idea of the player who does not go out doesn't gain any points. I just think that's a cool little spin. I also don't know if climbing games and trick-taking games can coexist to the experts, but to me, this is trick-taking all the way. Good fun.

3. Diamonds

Board Game: Diamonds
I like the diamonds that come in the box. Next on the list is... Oh, I need more of a reason? Well, okay then.

How about those suit actions? I love them. Allowing whoever won the trick to take a special action based on the card winning the trick is just an awesome idea that feels great each time you pull it off. But it feels even better to get the action when you DON'T win the trick (by playing a card not of the suit opening the trick). This is simply a great game with some of the most beautiful components I've seen in any card game.

2. Potato Man

Board Game: Potato Man
This one is just silly, good fun. I think it's great how once a suit (color) has been played, that suit cannot be played again during the trick (with exception to the 5-player game).

I also like the balance of the red deck having higher cards and the yellow deck having lower. However, should Potato Man show up, (the lowest yellow cards) and an evil potato peeler (the highest red cards) was played, Potato Man will win the trick.

Add to this the way scoring is done, with players taking score cards of the color they won the trick with. However, stacks of score cards can run out so players will need to balance their plays out the best they can in order to win the most score cards they can. All this is tucked into a great little package.

1. Where's Bob's Hat?

Board Game: Where's Bob's Hat?
I tend to play games with three total players. It's not always easy to find a game that plays best with three. Well, Where's Bob's Hat? fixes the issue with three players being the best way to play.

Another draw for me is how many cards are dealt out in each round. You start the game receiving five cards, but as the game ramps up, with each round giving you one additional card, up to sixteen total in the final round. It's also got a really cool way of switching things up by there being a different trump suit each round, with the possibility of there being no trump in a round. I truly love this game.

So, that's it! My top ten favorite trick-takers. Do my choices match yours at all? Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments and as always, thanks for reading. See you next time!
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Mon Sep 7, 2015 3:56 am
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Top 10 Designers - Revisited

Joseph Peterson
United States
Round Rock
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In December of last year, I took a look over all of the games I've played and tried to figure out my favorite designers. It was a bit thrown together to be honest and something I've wanted to revisit for some time. After accumulating some more plays and crunching some numbers, I think I've come up with the most precise listing I can put together. I'm hoping to look back on this again in the future, possibly in another six months. Until then, here's my current top 10 favorite designers:

#10 - Aaron Weissblum

Games I've played: Cloud 9, Pass-Ackwords, Smarty Party

Weissblum hit number 4 on my list last time, mostly due to my fondness of Cloud 9. Smarty Party and Pass-Ackwords are also games that I've really enjoyed. I'm still wanting to give San Marco and Capitol a try. Spellcaster and the "10 Days in" games also pique my interest.

#9 - Dominic Crapuchettes

Games I've played: Clubs, Say Anything, Wits & Wagers

Crapuchettes wasn't on my list last time and I had to right that wrong. Say Anything and Wits & Wagers are games that went over extremely well with me, but I think it might be Clubs that brought him up into my top 10 favorite. Evolution has to be the one of his that I'm looking most forward to trying out.

#8 - Bruno Cathala

Games I've played: Dice Town, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, Okiya, Sheepzzz

Cathala dropped a couple spots from last time and that's mostly due to only playing one additional game of his since last compiling this list. Though I feel that game (Dice Town) may be what kept him on the list. That's mostly just on me. There's just so many games of his I want to try, far too many to list.

#7 - Wolfgang Kramer

Games I've Played: 11 nimmt!, 6 nimmt!, Artus, Asara, Take 5!, That's Life!

Kramer was another designer I unfortunately overlooked last time around. At that time, I had only played Asara and Artus. With the "nimmt!" games and, to a lesser extent, That's Life! this has really boosted him up on the list. As with Cathala, there's so many of his games I want to try.

#6 - Michael Schacht

Games I've played: Coloretto, Lucky Numbers, ZoolorettoZooloretto: The Dice Game

Schacht is a designer I'm just recently starting to learn about. I had only played Lucky Numbers last time I compiled this list. Now, after playing Coloretto, Zooloretto, and its dice game, I really appreciate his game design. As with the previous two designers, he's made so many games on my wish list that I need to try.

#5 - Seiji Kanai

Games I've played: BraveRats, Love Letter, Love Letter: Batman

Kanai sort of came out of nowhere for me. Trying out BraveRats and Love Letter has really brought him into light for me, and now I look forward to trying out several of his games, Cheaty Mages! and Say Bye to the Villains to name a couple.

#4 - Friedemann Friese

Games I've played: Fast Flowing Forest Fellers, Friday, Tadaaam!, Unexpected Treasures

Friese has jumped up considerably since December for me. Unexpected Treasures and most recently, Fast Flowing Forest Fellers, really surprised me as games that on the surface seemed uninteresting at first, but I really enjoyed. He has a pretty large catalog, though I'd have to say Fauna is the one I'm most interested in.

#3 - Bruno Faidutti

Games I've played: The Dwarf King, Diamant, SmileyFace

Faidutti makes his way onto the list this time around. Dwarf King and especially Incan Gold launched him into the top 3. I'd have to say of all of his games, I'm most wanting to give Mission: Red Planet a try.

#2 - Jay Cormier & Sen-Foong Lim

Games I've played: But Wait, There's More!, This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us, Tortuga, Train of Thought

The Bamboozle Brothers leap up into number two thanks a whole lot to But Wait, There's More. That being said, Tortuga and Train of Thought were already favorites of mine. I'm most looking forward to giving Akrotiri and Belfort a try.

#1 - Ted Alspach

Games I've played: Beer & Pretzels, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Suburbia, Ticked Off

Alspach goes from 2 to 1 with some really amazing games to his credit, Suburbia and One Night Ultimate Werewolf dinging the best in my book. I'm looking most forward to trying out Castles of Mad King Ludwig. It seems to be really up my alley.

So, that's it with the revisit. A couple of changes, but I think this best fits with my current favorites. I once again pose the question: Who are your favorite designers? Any new designers you really love or how about your old favorites that just don't cut it anymore. Let me know in the comments and as always, thanks for reading!
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Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:27 am
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Top 10 Games Published in 2014

Joseph Peterson
United States
Round Rock
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Ten days into 2015 and I hope you're all having a great new year. I figure it's as good a time as any to take a look back at the previous year, particularly my favorite games published in 2014. Now, I played nowhere near the amount of games released in 2014, but in any case, here are my top 10 of 2014:

#10 - Gib Gas!

Board Game: Gib Gas!
I first learned of Gib Gas! when I was searching through some import games listed on one of my favorite online game stores. The name just sort of jumped at me. I checked it out here on the Geek and thought it sounded sort of unique and decided to jump on it as it cost me under $15. When it arrived, I printed out some unofficial English rules and we gave it a go. Let's just say, "$15 well spent." We found it both simple and engaging.

Basically, players are attempting to be the fastest or slowest car through each segment of the race, represented by each car. Players get to see four cards at a time and have to look through their cards and choose the best card for the situation. However, as each of your cards is played, it's lost until you play a Pit card or you run out of cards so, the best card for the situation might have already been played.

Play is simultaneous and, in cases of a tie that would have resulted in success, the two tied players actually wind up taking damage allowing for any other players to take advantage of the success. There's a great back and forth with this tie mechanic where you look at your cards and think, "Well, I would most definitely be the fastest here, but is another player going to play the same card?" It's quick, has a good amount of decision making, a fair amount of luck and, most important: it's lots of fun.

#9 - Lemminge

Board Game: Lemminge
Another racing game? Another import? Yes! Lemminge is a special kind of racing game though. Here we have a race of lemmings. Yes, lemmings. Throughout the game, you'll be trying to get both of your lemmings to the finish line by playing cards which match the terrain you are headed towards or by manipulating that terrain. You can also manipulate terrain to hopefully mess over your opponents.

During setup, a card representing each terrain is set on the side of the board. On their turns, players play one of their terrain cards on their appropriate pile. If the card they play has a lower number than the one before it, they are able to add up all of the numbers on the card and use that as their movement. If the number is higher, they'll clear the previous cards, move the amount shown on the card, and take a terrain tile matching that of the card they played.

The ability to change terrain is what makes this game special. Players are also able to bump other lemmings out of their way throughout movement which also adds a bit of strategy to the game. You can either help yourself out by bumping your own lemming or possibly mess over your opponent by pushing them into terrain they may not have in their hand. Lots of cool decisions in this fun, little racing game.

#8 - Camel Up

Board Game: Camel Up
MORE RACING! I promise this is the last one and as such, the best! What makes this game awesome is the ability to bet on who you think is going to win (or lose) and then manipulating the camels in the race, trying to ensure your bet is correct.

Basically, on your turn you can do one of four things. Roll a die, which causes a camel to move. Place an oasis tile, which allows players to make money and also forces a camel to move forward or backward. Take a betting tile, paid out (or forcing the player to pay) at the end of a leg of the race depending on the place of the camel bet on. Bet on the overall winner, once again paying out or forcing the player to pay depending on where the camel placed at the end of the race.

Other awesome stuff:

Pyramid dice shaker thing.
Camel stacking.
Pyramid dice shaker thing.
Camel stacking.
Camel stacking.

So, maybe there's just two really awesome parts, but they're so awesome. I like that there's luck and strategy and they're both integrated so well into the game. CAMEL STACKING! Sorry. It's awesome.

#7 - Aztack

Board Game: Aztack
Aztack is a tile-laying game where players are using domino-like tiles to (sort of) build a Mayan temple. Players take turns playing one of their tiles on the board (made up of 12 random tiles) and must match colors, patterns or both. Players must also play their tile across two tiles (no stacking directly on top of other tiles).

If players are able to match both colors and patterns, they can discard a tile from their hand. As players build onto the board, less moves will be available. Play will continue until either one player runs out of tiles or all players have to pass due to there being no moves left.

There's not a lot to say about this one rules-wise. I can just say that at around $15, this was another great purchase for me and a game that plays quickly and plays well with all numbers of players.

#6 - Diamonds

Board Game: Diamonds
I was lucky enough to try this one out during the Christmas holiday and it has instantly jumped to becoming one of my favorite card games. I'm a huge fan of trick-taking games and this one follows in the same vein as it's sister games: Spades, Hearts and Clubs. But: SPOILER:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
It's better.

What makes Diamonds special is that not following suit means you get a special power (as does winning the trick in the played suit). This power allows you to collect points, banking points in your vault (which is something you want to do because), you can steal points from other players. Players are also able to gain a special power at the end of the hand should they have collected the most of any suit.

Take great gameplay and add to it some of the most beautiful components I've seen in a card game, and you've got yourself something wonderful.

#5 - Quack a-doodle Moo!

Board Game: Quack a-doodle Moo!
Some may call this one a cheat as it is a reimplementation of Snorta!. Oh well, I cheated then, but I've never played Snorta! to begin with. that all of that is out of the way, Quack a-doodle Moo! is one of my favorite party games ever.

Players start out with a barn card which shows the animal they will be for the game. Everyone begins by showing their barn card and then flipping it over. Players will receive an equal amount of cards and play begins with the starting player playing one of his cards face up. Play follows with each player playing a card. Should play reach the starting player, they play on top of their previous card.

Eventually, two players will have matching animals in front of them. At this time, those two players will need to make the noise of the animal of their opponent. This is easier said than done as most of the time you want to make the noise of the card you just played or you simply forget their animal or, in my case, want to keep making the noise of your own animal. In any case, once a player correctly makes the noise of the opponent's animal, they will hand the cards out in front of them to the opponent who must then add it to their deck. Play will continue until one player has run out of their cards thus becoming the winner.

There's something special about a game which allows for up to eight people to sit around a table making barnyard animal noises and having a great time. This is what party games are all about.

#4 - One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Board Game: One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Favorite party game (at least of 2014) has to go to One Night Ultimate Werewolf. I've played Werewolf off and on since I was a kid and slowly grew to dislike it. What's the worst part of Werewolf? Elimination. Well, not anymore!

One Night takes the basics of Werewolf and allows all of the drama to unfold in about 10 minutes. Players are randomly given a role, either as a werewolf, a plain villager or one of the many special roles. Cards are also put out to make up a community pool where players may or may not pull from. Players then take turns, depending upon their role, being able to look at specific cards or maybe move them around, switching roles, etc. After players have all taken their turns (if their role allows them to), they will then have a time of discussion. Through discussion, they will decide who to kill and, should the villagers choose the werewolf, they win. However, if anyone but the werewolf is killed, the werewolf automatically wins.

Take all of this, add to it an awesome app that not only moderates the game but also adds a nice ambience. One Night Ultimate Werewolf has rekindled my love for Werewolf, a game I would often shy away from only due to the elimination issues. Now, I can play 5 or 6 rounds of the game in an hour and get full enjoyment without the full time restraints of Werewolf.

#3 - Zombies Keep Out

Board Game: Zombies Keep Out
Here's the one cooperative game to make the list. It's actually my favorite cooperative game that I've yet to play and here's why.

Players take turns by drawing a "Terrible Things" card. These cards are, well, terrible as they force the player to choose one of three things listed on the card, none of which are all that great of a choice. Usually, these terrible things include adding more zombies to the board, moving them closer to the buildings, discarding cards or even being bitten by a zombie.

After making a terrible choice, players can then take an action. Some of which allow players to take out zombies, repair their buildings by adding barricades, build a machine or activate an already built machine. Building these machines is not only the objective of the game (building three means a win), they also have some awesome affects on the board. For instance, one machine can kill two zombies in a row or column while another machine could take out all of the zombies on a particular space on the board.

The game really gets us into the whole theme of "zombie invasion". As well, the game scales really well allowing for a newcomer situation that's pretty simple to win up to SUPER HARD near impossible game. We've had some great times with this one.

#2 - Gardens

Board Game: Gardens
Another import and that makes me very sad. Not because of the game! It's that this game truly deserves a wider release. I've said this multiple times when describing the game, but it is quite possibly one of the most beautiful games I've ever played. As the playing area grows tile by tile, more and more of this gorgeous garden is unveiled. The game also provides a great amount of fun as well.

Gardens is a tile-laying game. Players are trying to create paths allowing for their gardeners to move freely between the tiles. Players are also wanting to lay tiles in spots where they can complete a flowerbed (matching the four corners of tiles) with the majority of their color flower, allowing them to plant their own flowerbed. The first to plant all of their flowers wins.

Gardens is one of those special games that is casual and mixes strategy and luck in a pleasing way to make for an enjoyable experience. Lots of fun and beauty makes this one a winner.

#1 - Doodle Quest

Board Game: Doodle Quest
A children's game wins the coveted number one spot? Sure! What I like so much about this game is that it's less about drawing and more about referencing what you're seeing.

What I mean is that you're drawing on a clear sheet of plastic. Depending on what the quest says (maybe something like draw the eyes of the fish or draw a path through a reef without hitting any walls) you'll take a look at the reference material and draw on your sheet where you believe should match up onto the quest card. Once everyone has completed their drawings, they'll place their plastic sheet over the quest card and see how they matched up, making points for completing any objectives.

As someone who plays often with people who aren't the biggest fans of drawing games, it's hard to find one that everyone enjoys. In the case of Doodle Quest though, you're more so using dexterity and spacial recognition to complete objectives. You're not technically drawing a picture, but more so completing it with a path or by adding pieces to the introduced puzzle. My favorite game of 2014!

So, that's my list! Do you agree? Do you disagree? Let me know! What are your favorite games published in 2014?
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Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:20 pm
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Top 10 Designers

Joseph Peterson
United States
Round Rock
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I thought I'd take a stab at doing some top tens (since I've already finished up a top 100 list). These won't come out in any scheduled amount of time, just more so when I feel like putting a little something together. For this first top 10, I'll be listing my favorite designers. Here we go!

#10 - Friedemann Friese

Notable Games: Power Grid, Friday, Fauna, Funny Friends, Fürstenfeld, Tadaaam! and many more

I haven't played many Friedemann Friese games (Tadaaam! and Friday are the only two; both of which have made my top 100). That being said, there's plenty that I want to play! They just all seem a little on the heavy side. I'm still a newbie with just a little over a year under my belt and I'm slowly making my way through more heavy weight games. I feel that as I continue my hobby, Friese's games will continue to be a favorite designer of mine. I'm probably looking most forward to Terra and I also have plans to play Fauna very soon as well.

#9 - Stephen Glenn

Notable Games: 1st & Goal, Pluckin' Pairs, Piñata, Spike

Though I've yet to play 1st & Goal (I own it, just don't know anybody as interested in football as me), both Pluckin' Pairs and Piñata have proved themselves to be very enjoyable games in my opinion, hitting numbers 64 and 38 respectively on my top 100 list. I'm looking forward to trying out Spike once I'm able to get my hands on it.

#8 - Kris Gould

Notable Games: Buccaneer Bones, Claim It!, Fruit Fair, Jet Set, Last Call: The Bartender Game, Nomads of Arabia: The Wandering Herds Game, Switching Tracks

Although I own quite a few of Gould's games, I've only played two: Buccaneer Bones and Nomads of Arabia (the latter of which instantly jumped into one of my top 10 favorite games). Both of them have impressed me enough to make Gould one of my favorite designers and I'm looking forward to cracking open more of his games. Switching Tracks is his newest game and one I'm really wanting to give a try.

#7 - Jay Cormier & Sen-Foong Lim

Notable Games: Belfort, Tortuga, Train of Thought, This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us

So, this is a bit of a cheat... Well, not really. They are better known as the "Bamboozle Brothers" and have designed a couple favorites of mine (Tortuga being my 40th favorite and Train of Thought, my 5th and best party game I've ever played). I'd like to give Belfort a try as in playthroughs I've seen online make it look excellent. I've also just recently picked up This Town Ain't Big Enough and it looks like even more good stuff from the Brothers.

#6 - Bruno Cathala

Notable Games: Abyss, Five Tribes, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, Okiya, Sheepzzz, and so much more

I have to admit that I've only played a few of Cathala's games, Okiya and Le Fantôme de l'Opéra both making their way into my top 100 favorite games. Just of these few though, I've thoroughly enjoyed my plays of his games. As for some of the games I'm looking forward to playing, Five Tribes, Abyss, Jamaica, Mission: Red Planet, Dice Town...well, there's quite a lot.

#5 - Michael Kiesling

Notable Games: Asara, Tikal, Torres, Coal Baron, Vikings

Being the designer of Asara instantly put Kiesling into my top 10. I sort of have a love affair with the game. It was my first and you all know how we get about our first loves. That being said, there's a fair amount of games he has designed that look absolutely amazing. I'd say out of all of them, Coal Baron seems to be the one that jumps off the list for me.

#4 - Aaron Weissblum

Notable Games: Capitol, Pass-Ackwords, Cloud 9, San Marco, Smarty Party!, 10 Days in series

Cloud 9 is probably the game that puts Weisslbum so high up on the list. It's a favorite in our house and number 24 on my top 100 list. I've also played Pass-Ackwords and Smarty Party both of which proved to be a lot of fun for us. I'd say Capitol and San Marco look most interesting of his which I have yet to play.

#3 - Heinz Meister

Notable Games: Igloo Pop, Zitternix, Yay!, Eiskalt erwischt!, and lots, lots more

Meister tends to make a lot of titles aimed at the younger audience. For me, that just means more accessible games! I'm a huge fan of Yay!, a game which hit number 67 on my top 100 list. Some others I've tried are Zitternix, Strong Stuff and Iceberg Hustle. I've yet to play one of his designs that I don't like and it looks like there's a lot more out there to try!

#2 - Ted Alspach

Notable Games: Suburbia, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Ticked Off, Mutant Meeples

I love Suburbia and One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Both are in my top 20 favorite games and Suburbia is number 2 on the list. There's a lot of games out there though that I haven't tried out yet. I'm looking forward most to Castles of Mad King Ludwig and Mutant Meeples. Both seem right up my alley!

#1 - Reiner Knizia

Notable Games: Tigris & Euphrates, Ra, Modern Art, Lost Cities, Dream Factory, and about a million more

Knizia tends to get a lot of hate around these parts. As a newbie, I can't really understand why. The guy's got over 400 games under his belt. Well, maybe that's what it is. You're bound to run out of steam and have a few stinkers when you've made so many games. I've yet to run into one though. Lost Cities, Dream Factory and Indigo are some I really enjoy and, well, there's a ton more out there from him. I'm really interested in trying out some of his older, more popular games like Tigris & Euphrates or Ra. Only the future can tell if my opinions of Knizia will stay the same.

So, that's my top 10 (11). Who are your favorite designers? Do you agree with my list? Disagree? Let me know in the comments and as always, thanks for reading!
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Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:35 pm
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